Ambassador of Finland Tarja Fernández, and the Director General of Finnish Customs Antti Hartikainen took part in the WCO East and Southern Africa (ESA) launch of the second phase of the Customs Capacity Building Project in Mombasa, 7 February 2017.
Finland supports the project with EUR 3 million through the Mercator programme, which was launched in 2014 to support 24 Southern and Eastern African States in implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The project is based in 2013 on Bali WTO Ministerial declaration of the new multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement. The agreement will benefit all the countries involved in speeding up customs and border procedures and increasing international trade. Trade growth will increase economic growth and reduce poverty, benefitting developing countries the most.
Finland supports improving border and customs procedures the WCO ESA region together with the World Customs Organization. Support for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement is part of Finland's "Aid for Trade" policy, the aim of which is to support economic growth and sustainable development in developing countries, and thereby reduce poverty.